Revolutionary Measures

Facebook for the over 50s

New research shows that the UK’s old age pensioners are moving away from lawn bowls, moaning and driving slowly to embrace social media. Figures from Nielsen demonstrate that Facebook membership by the over-50s grew 84 per cent between 2009 and 2011 (as against 41 per cent for overall membership).

It shouldn’t really be a major surprise – the impact of silver surfers, many of whom have a powerful combination of time and money, has been exciting online advertisers for several years. Essentially these figures see the older generation catching up with social media (Twitter stats follow the same trend). And Facebook does make it very easy to show the world photos of your darling grand kids and boast about your children’s jobs to all and sundry.

Perhaps more worrying for the younger generation the latest Socialnomics video from Erik Qualman shows that 69 per cent of parents are now ‘friends’ with their children on social media. If this trend continues all the kids will have to head back to Bebo or MySpace to avoid being poked by the older generation……………

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June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bubble trouble?

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Tomorrow (Thursday) sees the much trumpeted flotation of LinkedIn, which is tipped to value the company at £2.6 billion. And it is likely to be followed by a host of other social media sites, from Facebook and Twitter to the likes of Groupon and Zynga, with similar stratospheric valuations. You’d be forgiven in thinking the global recession was over as investors seem to be scrambling to throw money at anything vaguely social.

It does remind me a lot of the previous dotcom bubble (yes, I am that old) where the likes of in the UK achieved market valuations greater than unfashionable bricks and mortar businesses such as British Airways.

The question a lot of commentators are asking is – are we in another bubble and what happens when it pops? I’m not an economist but when you look at LinkedIn, which has said it won’t make a profit in 2011 and see that it values it at 17 times 2010 revenues (Google by contrast is at six times revenue) I’d worry. Essentially you are taking a punt on LinkedIn extending its offering and delivering future profits to match the valuation and while it has a strong, differentiated, brand things can change quickly in social media. Just look at the plummeting fortunes of early stars MySpace and Bebo……………..

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May 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bye bye Bebo?


Image via Wikipedia

For those that have come late to social networking, Facebook and Twitter are pretty much everything they want/need/use. But before Facebook became the giant it is today there were other popular social networks like Bebo and MySpace that have simply faded away. Essentially they haven’t crossed the chasm to mainstream adoption – and being the only one of your friends on a social network is lonely and frankly, a little pointless.

But Bebo is attempting a comeback. After being bought from the clutches of AOL by Californian entrepreneur Adam Levin it is now being relaunched. Backed by an array of media advisers, including ex-BBC One/Channel 4 controller Michael Jackson it aims to turnaround the site. UK user numbers are down to 1.9 million monthly visitors in January 2011 (compared to 5.7 million a year earlier), so clearly something needs to be done.

New features include more control over newsfeeds and a wider range of responses to posts rather than just ‘Like’. More importantly integration with other social networks is made easier, recognising that it is no longer the market leader. However I can’t help thinking this is too little, too late. For Bebo to survive it has to have a different purpose than Facebook rather than simply improving its features. Unfortunately without that, the relaunch may prove a temporary upward blip as it follows MySpace towards social media oblivion.




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April 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments



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